Chinese manufacturer, Huawei, has been trying to gain access to the US for a long time. The company recently wrote a letter to the US reiterating its previous stand that it is an independent company and it has no “special” ties with the Chinese government. Huawei believes that if it had entered the US since 2017, the company has the capacity to save at least 20 billion Yuan ($3 Billion) between 2017 and 2020. For many operators especially small operators who are already using Huawei’s equipment, it will require a whole lot of fund to adjust to other manufacturers. In fact, some of these local companies have expressed their fears for the recent FCC plan to prevent Huawei from doing business in the country. One of such companies is Kansas based wireless carrier, United TelCom.
“Prohibiting the use of Huawei equipment, or the use of USF and CETC legacy support to purchase or maintain that equipment, would have a severe and detrimental impact on residents living in remote, underserved locations in United TelCom’s wireless service area,” United TelCom wrote to the FCC.
Most of United TelCom’s equipment is provided by Huawei. United TelCom estimates that the cost of replacing Huawei equipment is about $20 million – $25 million, and such large-scale funding could make it bankrupt. It is yet to be seen if the FCC will pull through with its proposal but the US stand with regards to Huawei and ZTE are pretty clear.